The Design Business Association’s Annual General Meeting held last week heard chairman Jonathan Sands claim the association has turned the corner after a period of decline.
The first operating surplus for five years beckons and the DBA now has 100 000 in the bank and will spend it to foster its growth, says Sands.
Sands, who is halfway through his two-year chairmanship, said years of declining membership, falling income and reduced services had left the DBA in a “vicious circle”, which unchecked would have killed it off. Now “we are on a bit of a roll”, he says.
Sands is predicting a 10 000 surplus on the DBA’s projects this year, the first such profit for five years. Membership stands at 233 consultancies, a slight fall on last year’s 252 but still ahead of 1994’s 180. The reduction from 1995 to 1996 is blamed on last January’s increase in subscription fees.
The new-look directory of members produced last year is credited with boosting membership. The next edition, designed by Tayburn McIlroy Coates, is due out soon.
Sands also points to increasing the financial services the DBA offers its members. And the DBA is to appoint a full-time export promoter in the New Year. This follows the imminent end of the secondment of an export promoter from the Department of Trade and Industry.
When his chairmanship ends next summer, Sands wants the DBA to have 300 members and 150 000 in its reserves. “This is now a vibrant organisation that has turned the corner and is going places,” he said.
The election of five new board members was announced at the AGM, following a ballot in which a quarter of the membership voted. The new directors are: Pearlfisher director Clare Anderson; M&K Design Instore chairman Paul King; BIB Design Consultants managing director Lin Roworth-Stokes; Design in Action managing director Barry Salter; and Fitch director Bill Sermon.